Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Use PicLits to Show, Not Tell

This is one of my favorite sites to help students think and write creatively.  PicLits offers a gallery of photos on which writers (your students) can drag and drop from an on screen word bank or freewrite words that capture the heart and soul of the picture. "The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture."

A tab called Learn It takes writers to a basic tutorial giving tips on writing sentences, paragraphs, or even poetry.  It's a mini-lesson in grammar by itself!

PicLits can be used by students individually at laptops.  If you sign up for a free account, students can then email their captioned photos to you for printing, or you can save them to your gallery and link to them from your teacher web or from your blog. (No, you can't right-click and save the pictures--sorry.) My favorite application, however, is to project the photo to the class and work as a group to create the perfect sentence.  With an interactive whiteboard, students can drag and drop words from the bank directly on the screen. What a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the concept of Show, Not Tell.

PicLit from
See the full PicLit at